It is the first time Nintendo has had the top-selling console since the Super Nintendo era 17 years ago, and comes despite being released a full year later than the Xbox 360. Based on data from NPD Group in North American, Enterbrain in Japan and GfK in Germany, a total of nine million Wii systems have been purchased, compared to 8.9 million Xbox 360 consoles. Sony’s PlayStation 3 offering is a distant third, with total system sales of 3.7 million units, particularly disappointing for a company that had previously ruled the roost with its PlayStation and PlayStation 2 consoles.
Nintendo has achieved dominance in the world gaming market by appealing to a much wider demographic with its inexpensive system, interactive control system and marketing efforts aimed at casual gamers. One analyst said, “The fact of the matter is that, despite the Xbox’s earlier launch in November 2005, it only sells in two markets – Europe and the U.S.”
“Japan is home turf to Sony and Nintendo, so the Xbox is not a player at all,” he continued. “In contrast, Nintendo has been selling well in all three major markets.”